TL;DR. I've been given £1000 from Santander to donate to a charity of my choice. I'd like to give it to you but would you rather it went to another deserving cause?
First a little background. I met Ebon and Liz at the Transfer Summit last summer and was immediately fascinated by the device and in love with the concept. I went back to uni shortly after, I went to the Volunteering Services Unit there and told them I'd like to use the Pis to teach children how to program. They helped me gather together a group of fellow techies, we taught ourselves Python and prepared to venture to a nearby girls' school to pass on our knowledge and passion.
Unfortunately, the Pis weren't ready in time and we couldn't use them in the classroom, instead we burnt 30 Debian live images onto USB sticks and gave them away to the girls to use at home. We tried to keep as close as we could to the environment that the Pis would eventually ship with (LXDE, Python, a giant raspberry desktop background, etc. etc.). We ran 8 after school sessions between Christmas and Easter and I'd like to think that we managed to teach, empower and enthuse at least a couple of them.
The VSU were kind enough to nominate me for an award that my university runs in association with Santander, the recipients of the awards are given £1000 to donate to a charity of their choice. I was lucky enough to win one of these awards and so now have a chunk of change to distribute.
My first thoughts were to give this money to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, your great work inspired me to set up the volunteering project (which we plan to run as a summer school this summer as well as an additional after school programme next year) and you've almost single handedly re-vitalised the 'teach children to program' ethos that the BBC Micro so well demonstrated. My second thoughts raised the question of whether there are more needing causes (not more deserving, more needing), the Foundation must have a reasonably good source of income now and I wonder if there other charities, with similar aims, that would require this money more?
I leave it up to you (or the community) to choose, I have a three week deadline for my nomination and any help people can give me would be appreciated.
Thanks so much for all you've done and will continue to do, for me, others like me but most importantly for the next generation of Gateses, Wozniaks, Pages and Zuckerbergs.